Trek Notes - England

Wild Edric’s Way

General Information
Wild Edric was a Saxon who resisted the attempts of William the Conquerer to tame the borderland between lowland England and mountainous Wales. This superb walk explores the varied and beautiful scenery of Shropshire’s hill country where Wild Edric fought the Normans.

From Church Stretton Wild Edric’s Way crosses the heathery plateau of the Long Mynd to the sleepy hamlet of Bridges. It follows the rock-strewn ridge of the Stiperstones past the Devil’s Chair, where Edric appears when England is threatened, before descending to the attractive little town of Bishop’s Castle. From here, the trail follows a medieval drovers’ way and a superb section of Offa’s Dyke to Clun, a charming little town dominated by its ruined Norman castle. The route then heads over the spectacular Iron Age hillfort of Bury Ditches to Craven Arms and Stokesay Castle, a unique fortified manor house, before following field and riverside paths to the historic town of Ludlow, the Capital of the Marches.

Total distance: 49 miles (79km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum/maximum daily distances: 12 miles (19km)/18 miles (29km)
Waymarking: The trail is clearly waymarked with Wild Edric’s Way symbols.
Season: All year

Starting point of holiday:
Church Stretton
End of holiday: Ludlow
Most convenient major city and International airport: Birmingham International Airport. 2 hours 21 minutes to Church Stretton Railway Station via Shrewsbury.
Outward journey from London to Church Stretton: Train from London Euston to Church Stretton (3 hours 25 minutes).
Return journey to London at the end of the holiday: Train to London Paddington (3 hours 27 minutes).
Return journey to Birmingham International Airport at the end of the holiday: 2 hours 23 minutes from Ludlow railway station to Birmingham International.

Day 1: Travel to Church Stretton where your first night’s accommodation has been booked.  

Church Stretton is a pleasant little town in an idyllic setting. On one side of the town rise the heathery slopes of the Long Mynd, one of the most distinctive upland areas in Britain. The other side of the valley is dominated by shapely Stretton Hills. Church Stretton was a minor spa in Victorian times, when it was known as ‘little Switzerland’; it is easy to see why – the houses peeping out from the wooded slopes look like chalets in an Alpine valley.

On arrival either explore the town or follow the short walk provided to Caer Caradoc, the highest and shapeliest of the Stretton Hills. Caer Caradoc is crowned by an impressive hill-fort built by the Cornovii people whose leader Caradoc led a heroic campaign against the Romans.

Day 2: Church Stretton to to Bishop’s Castle.18 miles (29 km)

Bishop’s Castle is a charming little town with a mix of architecturally diverse buildings. The High Street climbs steeply uphill from the church with its sturdy little border tower to the 18th century Town Hall that has an interestingly prim façade. Next to it a narrow cobbled alley is straddled by the House on Crutches, an Elizabethan half-timbered building with its upper storey supported by two wooden posts. Other interesting buildings include the Porch House and the Castle Hotel, that stands on the site of the now vanished bishop’s castle.

Day 3: Bishop’s Castle to Clun. 11 miles (17.5 km)

From Bishop’s Castle, Wild Edric’s Way follows the Kerry Ridgeway with wide sweeping views over the Border hills to Bishop’s Moat, where there are superb earthworks of a fine motte and bailey castle. The Kerry Ridgeway is known as Wales’ oldest road, Bronze Age traders came this way and for 800 years Welsh drovers brought herds of cattle and flocks of sheep along the ridge to the English markets.  

Clun is a pleasant little town with an impressive castle. It was built in a bend of the river with a massive keep towering over all. The castle with its formidable earthworks is believed to have been the inspiration for Garde Doleureuse in Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘The Betrothed’.

Day 4: Clun to Craven Arms.   11 miles (17.5 km)

From Clun the trail follows forest tracks to Bury Ditches, a remarkable Iron Age hill-fort settlement defended by a beautifully preserved series of banks and ditches. The view from top is one of the finest in Shropshire, including Stiperstones, the Long Mynd, Wenlock Edge, the Clee Hills and the hills of the Welsh Borders.  From here Wild Edric’s Way goes through the hamlet of Kempton to the sleepy little village of Hopesay. After exploring the village which has an attractive Norman church, the trail continues over Hopesay Hill which provides marvellous views, before descending through Sibdon Carwood, a charming little hamlet with an unusual Gothicised country house and Gothicised church, to Craven Arms – a Victorian railway town named after an inn.

Day 5: Craven Arms to Ludlow.   9 miles (14 km)

Ludlow is one of Britain’s loveliest towns. Situated on the River Teme, its medieval street pattern survives almost intact, along with more than 500 historic buildings including a magnificent Norman castle. Other outstanding buildings include the cathedral-like church of St. Laurence, the 13th century Reader’s House, 18th century Hosyer’s Almshouse, the Butter Cross, the Tolsey and Dinham House, Castle Lodge, St Giles’s Hospital, founded in 1216, the Angel Hotel, a splendid coaching inn and the 16th century Feathers Hotel.

Day 6: A chance to explore Ludlow before departure.

Accommodation & Meals
5 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns, and guesthouses.
Traditional English breakfast

What’s Included
Door to door luggage transfer.
Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail
An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
Emergency assistance.

Extra nights/rest days
Rest days along the trail provide the opportunity to explore some of the fascinating little towns along the trail. Bishop’s Castle with it’s interesting little shops, the House on Crutches Museum of Shropshire Town and Country Life, the Rail and Transport Museum and the Three Tuns brewery museum is a popular choice. If you are seeking peace and quiet then consider the attractive little town of Clun. Ludlow, with its superb castle and medieval streets crammed with historic buildings is another good choice.

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